May 15, 1922

PRO

Arthur John Lewis

Progressive

Mr. LEWIS:

Will the hon. member

suggest that a cotton stocking is not a stocking and that a silk stocking is?

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LIB

William Daum Euler

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

Not at all. The point

which I am endeavouring to make is that, if you are going to destroy one industry because it is hurting another industry, you are wrong. Therefore, I say that the silk-stocking manufacturer-and this is merely by way of a homely illustration

is quite as much justified, because his business is being interfered with by the cotton-stocking manufacturer, to raise an objection. Merely because an article is an imitation is not necessarily a reflection upon it, so long as the people who buy the imitation know what they are buying. We have that constantly in commerce. You go to a fur store, and you are a better expert than I am if you can distinguish some of the furs sold under one name or another. But if a person is buying a class of fur coat, knowing that it is merely an imitation of another class of fur coat, I do not see why there should be any objection to that person being permitted to purchase it, so long ac she, because it is nearly always one of the gentler sex, knows what she is buying. We might say that concrete cement, is an imitation, or a substitute, if you like, for stone, and a very good one, and just beci.ase it is an imitation or a substitute is no reason why we should not use it. Cotton is very often used in place of-wool, and a very good article it is.

The hon. gentleman who moved the resolution spoke of vitamines; he said the butter

contains a large percentage of vitamines and that oleomargarine does not. I am not sure whether he is correct in that or not; but surely he will not argue that, because there are no vitamines in oleomargarine, the people who are buying oleomargarine are necessarily not going to get their vitamines in some other form. He will have to devote his attention to many another prohibitory measure. I read the other day that potatoes contain a very large proportion of vitamines. These vitamines are located immediately under the skin of the potato. If you peel it as most housewives do, you lose all the vitamines. I propose that we also pass a resolution prohibiting housewives from peeling their potatoes and thus force the men to eat them whole. I sometimes go into a restaurant in which, opposite the various items of food, there is to be found the number of calories or heat units that each one of these foods produce. I think bacon tops the list. Would the hon. gentleman, therefore, argue that we must all eat bacon to the exclusion of veal, beef, eggs, cereals, meat and all the rest of them? It is entirely absurd to argue along that line. If that principle were recognized, we would be obliged to have a food inspector at every man's table to see that we are eating only those things which have the proper number of vitamines, calories and so on.

The hon. gentleman also stated that there can be no great demand for oleomargarine, because of the fact that, whereas we consumed some 12,000,000 pounds some few years ago, last year we consumed only 3,000,000 pounds. If he is correct-and I have no doubt he is-his difficulty is going to settle itself in a very short time. If people bought only

3,000,000 pounds of oleomargarine last year, that shows that they prefer butter or that they can afford to buy butter. But if there are still some who like to buy it, why should the Parliament of Canada take away from them the right to do that? Such a course amounts to prohibition. I rm not speaking of prohibition in its ordinary sense; but even in the prohibition of liquor, the chief argument we heard usually was that it was a detriment to the people who use it and to those who are dependent upon those who use it. That may or may not be a fair argument; but even in that case, many people set up against it the argument of personal liberty. I am not going to discuss that at all; but as regards oleomargarine, the excuse cannot be

Oleomargarine

made, that it is harmful, and, therefore, we should not have prohibitory legislation with regard to it.

Butter, it has been said here to-day, is at present being sold at 48 cents a pound and oleomargarine at 28 cents a pound. That in itself constitutes a very important reason why those people, who cannot afford to pay 48 cents a pound for their Butter, should not be deprived of the opportunity and right to purchase that which satisfies them and which is the best they can do under the circumstances. But I would go a step further than that; I would say that, even if oleomargarine costs more than butter and it is wholesome and I want to buy it, no man has logically a right to interfere with me if I want to buy oleomargarine and to pay for it. That is merely the right of the individual, and I think that is the issue at stake in this resolution more, perhaps, than any other.

I would be very much surprised to hear my hon. friends, who are directly, not angularly, opposite, support this resolution, because it is protection in its worst form. It is more than protection; it is prohibition. Tariff protection, if I may say so, is directed usually only against the foreigner. The manufacturer who wants tariff protection in this country desires as much as possible to shut out goods coming from a foreign country. On the other hand, if this resolution passes, we shall prohibit our own Canadian people from engaging in a certain industry, producing an article which, it is admitted, is a legitimate article of commerce. That would be the grossest and most unjustifiable interference with personal liberty that might almost be imagined. The law prohibiting oleomargarine should have been repealed long ago -not merely suspended from year to year. It was passed as long as thirty, six years ago. Well, it is about time it was repealed, and I would say that the Government, instead of again debating whether they should suspend this prohibitory law for another year, should make up their minds about it and repeal it absolutely, so that it shall not be necessary next year to repeat this performance, and do the same thing the following year and the year after that. For the reasons given I am definitely opposed to the resolution. I trust the law will be repealed and this vexed question settled once and for all.

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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. H. A. STEWART (Leeds) :

I propose to support the resolution introduced and so ably discussed by the hon. member

for Comox-Alberni (Mr. Neill). He has gone into the subject so exhaustively that very little remains for me to adduce in support of the reasons he has given to the House. Undoubtedly hon. members have been recently supplied with literature presenting the arguments on behalf of both interests in the matter. The arguments that have been submitted in support of the permission to import and manufacture oleomargarine have been amplified in the literature that has been sent to us. It is said that oleomargarine is manufactured and imported under the strictest regulations. Apparently it is; but I wish to emphasize the difficulty of enforcing regulations of this kind and the possibility, indeed the probability, of their being evaded, besides the opportunity that is presented to those who sell this inferior article of representing it as being equally as good as butter. It is claimed that it is a wholesome article. I do not dispute that. It is said that it is a legitimate article of commerce. That cannot be disputed either, for it has been made so by the laws of our country. It is also said that many countries permit the sale of it; and that, too, is true. And we are told, further, that it is made largely from the products of the farm, although there is a difference of opinion as to the exact quantity of animal products that are used in the manufacture of oleomargarine.

My objection to the manufacture and sale of this article does not rest upon the ground that it is an unwholesome foodstuff. I place my objection on the broad ground of protection. I am a believer in protection for every industry in this country-protection for the manufacturer, protection for the labourer and protection for the farmer. I believe that any one who enjoys any of the benefits in his particular line must be prepared to concede that there is some disadvantage and some handicap in another line. Now, the farmer and the dairy interests of this country need protection against anything that unduly interferes or competes with their products, and they certainly need protection against the free importation of this article. They therefore need protection against the manufacture of it as well. I wish to read a resolution passed by the National Dairy Council of Canada at its meeting held in Winnipeg on January 31st last. That resolution, dealing with the question of oleomargarine, reads:

That owing t|>

the depressing conditions of dairying, the present low prices of butter fat, the importance of stimulating and encouraging

Oleomargarine

an increase in the production of cream on the farms in Canada and the difficulty of securing suitable markets, both domestic and foreign, for the butter at present manufactured in Canada, the National Dairy Council of Canada is of the opinion that no further encouragement should be given the importation, manufacture or sale of oleomargarine by the Parliament of Canada. And that this council urgently requests the Dominion Government to refrain from introducing any legislation dealing with oleomargarine at the next session of Parliament.

That resolution comes from an organization representing the dairymen of Canada. I think it may be accepted as their considered opinion on the subject, and frankly again I want to state that my attitude towards this matter is based upon the ground of protection to that vast industry. There is no industry in the country that is more exacting than agriculture, and that requires a greater effort at the hands of those engaged in it. There is no industry that, perhaps, in years past, has yielded so moderate a profit, and the men who are engaged in it to-day feel that they should have protection against the importation of this inferior substitute, because it is inferior. That is the ground upon which I place my objection to the manufacture and importation of oleomargarine.

Now, the hon. member who spoke last (Mr. Euler) said that we should not destroy any legitimate industry in this country. Well, as I understand the facts, this industry was established with the distinct notification and the clear knowledge that it was only a matter of permission granted during, and by reason of, the war. From its inception the unequivocal understanding was that it might be terminated at any time. So that in connection with this in-' dustry there is no vested right which can be advanced in argument against any action which Parliament might think it wise to take in the matter. I said I was in favour of protection. I have heard a good deal in this House about the disadvantage in connection with high freight rates; and I sincerely hope that some way will be found to overcome the obstacle which the farmers in the West have to contend with from the present high freight rates. I believe that they should, if possible, be protected against the great handicap of distance under which they labour. And I would point out to my hon. friends on my left that they might, and indeed fairly should, consider that as a feature of the principle of protection. I should like to see the coal producers of the maritime provinces protected against the same handicaps of dis-

tance and, if possible, some concession given them in the matter of rates in order that they might have a market for their product in the West.

I do not think I need elaborate this question; I have made my position clear. I believe the dairying interests of the country should receive very careful consideration at the hands of Parliament. It has been correctly stated that the manufacture and importation of oleomargarine in the past was intended to be permitted only during the war and because of war conditions. Those conditions have disappeared and the industry finds itself confronted with shrinking markets. It has a surplus of products, and the markets of the world are to a certain extent demoralized. Prices are falling and the conditions that existed when this permission was granted no longer prevail. We are back again where we were before that permission was given.

The House should take this question into its very serious consideration from the standpoint I have urged, namely, the principle of protection purely and simply. I believe in protection for every industry in Canada. The farmer is entitled to protection in this matter, and others should be prepared to concede it to him. I hope that the resolution will meet with the approval of the House and that any legislation necessary to implement it will be brought down in order that the importation and manufacture of oleomargarine may be prohibited, at least until it is found that conditions generally are such as to render it advisable, in the interests of the public, to permit the operation of the industry. I know there is a great difference of opinion in this House upon the subject, but I urge that the interests of our dairy and general farmers should receive favourable consideration, and that they are entitled to that fair measure of protection which the prohibition of the manufacture and importation of this product would give them.

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LIB

Auguste Théophile Léger

Liberal

Mr. A. T. LEGER (Kent, N.B.):

In the interests of dairy and mixed farming in my constituency I am heartily in accord with this resolution. We are encouraging mixed farming and dairying in my part of the country as much as we can, and it is undoubtedly true that the importation and manufacture of oleomargarine is, to a certain extent, destructive of our farmers' efforts to raise more stock and more dairy products.

Oleomargarine

The subject matter of this resolution has been before the House for the last five or six years, and when, the first year after the war, the question of continuing the manufacture and importation of oleomargarine was considered, although, I believe, the majority of the people's representatives were opposed to such continuation, they felt that it would perhaps be better to extend the period for another year when conditions would be about normal.

No one can expect to make this House believe that any article containing a mixture of tallow and oil with a small amount of milk or cream is a good substitute for butter. I was amused to see the exMinister of Agriculture (Mr. Tolmie) produce a package of oleomargarine. The exterior looks fine, but, Sir, I do not believe he ever examined the inside of similar packages. I purchased a package on one occasion to satisfy my curiosity. I found the contents to be a greasy, oily looking mixture which I could not believe was fit for human consumption. But it is pressed on some poor people. I would not like to see my people use such a substitute for butter. I always like to see a poor man use good, substantial food, and not these unsatisfactory substitutes.

In stock raising we have to use the milk from our cows. I ask hon. members, would it be right for us to throw away the cream, as we would have to do, so that oleomargarine may take the place of our butter? I think not. Now that we are getting back to normal conditions there is no longer any necessity to import or to manufacture this stuff at the expense of our dairy and stock raising industry. Therefore I am strongly in favour of doing away with the further importation or manufacture of oleomargarine, and I shall have much pleasure in supporting this resolution.

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LIB

Elgin Albert Munro

Liberal

Mr. E. A. MUNRO (Fraser Valley) :

Mr. Speaker, the main argument in favour of the continued importation and manufacture of oleomargarine seems to be changing ground somewhat. It never was considered equal to butter for its food value, but it was thought advisable to encourage its use as a cheap substitute for our poor people. I would ask, where are the poor people in this country? A good many of us have heard our Progressive friends describing the hard conditions that at present exist in the prairie provinces. Personally, I believe what they have told us. You may ask me why. I reply, simply

because I am a farmer. But you have got to convince a good many people besides farmers, as you will find out before you get through here. Therefore I am sympathetic when my friends from the prairie provinces ask for the re-establishment of the Wheat Board with all its original powers. But, mind you, I am consistent, for while I am ready to grant my Progressive friends that assistance so far as I am personally concerned, still I consider it to be a form of protection.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No, no.

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LIB

Elgin Albert Munro

Liberal

Mr. MUNRO:

I repeat, I consider it is a form of protection, and more, it is an interference with personal liberty to a certain extent. Nevertheless, governments have taken similar action in the past, and why should they not do so in this instance, if you people are in the condition you say you are, and I believe you, because whether farmers are grain growers or dairymen, their condition is very unsatisfactory. Therefore I am sympathetic and I am going to stay with you.

I may be told that I am dealing with the grain issue instead of the dairy issue. I wonder, Mr. Speaker, how many grain growers are in the dairy business. I presume that many grain growers have some milk cows. Now, just to show what condition the dairymen find themselves in out west, I am going to read a newspaper clipping from the financial Post of February 24, because I take it that when the dairymen and grain growers come down to this House and ask for protection they need it, and need it badly. But the dairymen in question have not come down and asked for any special legislation. Here is the despatch, sent from Edmonton:

This province will produce 18,000,000 pounds of butter in 1922, and 25,000,000 in the year following, according to an estimate of the Alberta Dairymen's Association. This will be 100 per cent increase in two years, and as prospects are now It is thought not too high a mark.

Listen to this:

The dairymen have gone on record as favouring an increase in duty of from 3 to 6 cents a pound on butter coming in from New Zealand which is Alberta's chief source of competition.

Is that protection? I do not say they are wrong; but we in British Columbia need it even worse than you do, because we get your butter from the East; we get the New Zealand butter from the Coast: we get Chinese eggs; and a whole lot of things like that, all of which makes it very interesting for us.

Oleomargarine

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PRO

Thomas Alexander Crerar

Progressive

Mr. CRERAR:

Do I understand my hon. friend to say that New Zealand butter sells in Vancouver in competition with butter manufactured at home there? It is rather remarkable.

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LIB

Elgin Albert Munro

Liberal

Mr. MUNRO:

Why, New Zealand butter is all over Canada; it even goes to New York. Some reference has been made to the poor people and how necessary this oleomargarine is to them. Well, judging from the story we have heard from the Progressives, the poor people are not confined to the towns and cities; I never heard a barder-luck tale in my life than we have heard this session on the floor of this House, and it can be duplicated over and over again. "We have the pioneers living on their farms in lonely, secluded places, going to the grocery store with a few pounds of home-made butter in order to obtain the necessities of life, while many so-called poor people living in the town and cities, move about on the bright and cheery streets, and attend the moving picture shows and the theatres while the orchestra plays: " Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag"; "We won't go home till morning", and so on.

It is alleged that oleomargarine is a substitute for butter. Does the price of butter in this country justify the sale of oleomargarine as a substitute? I am a dairyman; I have been at the job more steadily, perhaps, than the ex-Minister of Agriculture, (Mr. Tolmie), and I do say that butter is being manufactured in our country at a loss to-day. If it were not for the fact that the Fraser Valley Mi'k Producers' Association had access to a market in Vancouver whereby we can supply whole milk at prevailing market prices, we would go out of business. We are just marking time. Just to give you an example, last year the Fraser Valley Milk Producers' Association, a purely co-operative concern owned by the dairymen of the Fraser valley, produced 143,000 pounds of butterfat in excess of the production of the previous year; yet they received $500,000 less in money. Wages were also cut last year by $50,000. At present the dairymen are not making one cent profit; at the rate they are selling now they cannot pay taxes and live unless other commodities drop accordingly; yet some people say that the dairy industry is not being injured by the manufacture and sale of oleomargarine. I was talking to some Ontario men the other day-farmers, practical

men who have made good. They told me that they were having a hard time in getting along; that they did not know how they were going to get through the present difficult situation. I met another man the night before last who had recently visited the scene of his early life on the farm, the place where he had farmed for years. He told me that he never saw so many farmers up against it in his life. He said:

" They are all trying to borrow money, not knowing how they are going to pay it back."

We hear a good deal about the value of our home markets; almost any hon. member will wax eloquent in five minutes when he comes to talk on that subject. Now, is it a reasonable suggestion that the sale of oleomargarine in this country will build up a home market for dairy products? You know it will not build up a home market; if it would, do you think the dairymen of this country would' send a resolution such as was read by the hon. member for Deeds (Mr. Stewart) ? Did the hon. member for Leeds not read a resolution of the British Columbia Dairymen's Association?

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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART (Leeds) :

It was a resolution of the National Dairy Council of Canada.

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LIB

Elgin Albert Munro

Liberal

Mr. MUNRO:

Well, it was approved by the British Columbia Dairymen's Association at their annual convention held at Chilliwack in February last. This resolution read as follows:

Whereas the dairy industry is becoming one of the most important branches of Agriculture in the province of British Columbia;

And whereas the present low prices received by dairymen for all dairy products make it necessary that the market for dairy products both at home and abroad should be stimulated and enlarged in order that those in the business may be suitably remunerated;

And whereas the admission of oleomargarine free of duty into this country from the United States, while there is a high duty on Canadian butter entering the United 'States, and the sale and use of oleomargarine as butter, often without the knowledge of the purchaser, are unfair and injurious to the manufacturers of butter [DOT] in Canada;

And whereas the price of butter Is now so low that it is within the means of all who desir^ it;

Therefore, the British Columbia Dairymen's Association, in annual meeting assembled, is of the opinion that the admission and manufacture of oleomargarine in Canada should be discontinued, as its use is now detrimental to the best interests of the country;

And that a copy of this resolution be sent to the honourable the Minister of Agriculture for the Dominion of Canada and to the federal members of all constituencies in the province of British Columbia.

Some bon. members try to convince the House that it is not at all a serious mat-

Oleomargarine

ter for the dairy bufeiness if the sale of oleomargarine is permitted in Canada. But who knows the dairy business best, the men actually engaged in it, or those who have never had anything to do with it? I submit that the men Who have been engaged in this business for a long time know the most about it. The convention of the British Columbia Dairymen, to which I have referred, was one of the largest gatherings of its kind that has been held in British Columbia, and I have read the conclusions which they seriously arrived at, and which they have submitted to hon. members of this House.

I contend also, Mr. Speaker, that if'the Government permits the continued sale and manufacture of oleomargarine in this country they will be taking a course inconsistent with both federal and provincial government policies in the matter of assisting in the establishment of creameries. Why, I believe that the federal government had a travelling creamery go about the country -I shall be glad to be corrected if that is not right. I know that in the province of British Columbia the government are spending a lot of money to assist pioneers in different parts of that new country by buying up good stock, putting it in there and sending out instructors to give the people a start in the business. They realize its relationship to successful pioneering and farming. Is the Government going to take the trouble and incur the expense of instructing these people in the making of good butter, the handling of milk, and that kind of thing, and at the same time permit the manufacture of a substitute like oleomargarine to take its place?

With regard to the argument that the manufacture of oleomargarine should be permitted because we have so many poor people, I would like to ask hon. members this question: Have we so much poverty in the towns and cities of this big new country of Canada, with its population of 9,000,000, that we have to import a substitute for butter from the United States? Is anybody willing to take the position that we cannot supply our own people with good butter; that we must import a cheap substitute? Shall we take that position when butter is selling at such a low price that the dairymen are working for nothing, and we are looking for a market in which to dispose of the large surplus dairy products which we cannot consume at home? It seems to me that the argument is ridiculous. If it ever had any justification, it was during the war, but conditions now have come back to normal and we do not need to continue something which was adopted as a war measure. We dairymen differ from our friends the Progressives to this extent: we are asking that we go back to pre-war conditions; they are asking that we continue war conditions. We want to go back where we were. We did not ask for this thing; it was brought in, as it was alleged, in the public interest; now we want to return to normal conditions. The fact remains, Mr. Speaker, that butter is being manufactured under cost price, and any further depression of that market will simply have the effect of injuring the industry to that extent, if not of wiping it out altogether. I may add that these are the thing's that are driving the producers from the soil and swelling the ranks of the poor people in the cities. Instead of robbing Peter to pay Paul, we should encourage the so-called poor people in the towns and cities to go out on the farms and make butter for a change. Many people seem to think that when you get a piece of land your troubles are at an end; it would be the finest thing in the world if we could get these people on the land and let them see whether or not their troubles are no more.

Another argument advanced in favour of the manufacture and sale of oleomargarine in Canada is that this article is used in other countries. But Canada, for the most part, is in its pioneer stage; it is a new country. The dairy industry is not so well established in this country as it is in older countries. Here we have labour conditions against us. It has been the policy of this country for a great many years to protect the young industries of Canada from outside competition by a tariff or a subsidy. The system of protection, based on this principle, is recognized and in force to-day, and I say that if protection is the policy of this country at the present time, the dairying industry is entitled to protection under the tariff just as much as any other industry in Canada. Do those who oppose this resolution argue that because the United States trades in oleomargarine, Canada should also be prepared to follow the example of the United States and give to the Canadian farmers and dairymen a Fordney tariff? Let me here point out that the following states on the other side of the line have passed laws prohibiting "filled" milk: New Jersey, Colorado, Utah, California, Oregon, Wisconsin, Ohio, Maryland and New York. What about following that example? I ask again, are you prepared to go as far as the United States have gone and give our Canadian farmers

Oleomargarine

and dairymen a Fordney tariff? If so, I say as a dairyman you can pave your streets with oleomargarine, so far as I am concerned.

In conclusion, I would call your attention, Mr. Speaker, to the fact that the last census of Canada points out certain things, one of which is that we are not holding very many of our prospective settlers who come to this country. The mesh of our colonization and land settlement schemes seems to be too large, and these prospective settlers are slipping through it and are lost to us. Apparently the evidences of peace and prosperity on the farms in this country are not sufficient to persuade these people to stay.

There is still a greater tragedy taking place, Mr. Speaker. We are not holding our own sons and daughters on the farms of this country, even though those farms be improved and represent the toil and savings of a generation. It is always a hard thing for fathers and mothers to watch the trunks being filled as their sons prepared to leave the old farm, but there is a harder thing still, and that is that we have no sane argument to offer to induce them to say at home on the farm. Poets write and fools rant about the back to the soil movement, but as a matter of fact, the secret of the migration from the farms can be told in four words-long hours, and low pay. There is no line of farm work-and I speak with knowledge because I have been on the farm all my life from fifteen years up-that can hold a candle to dairying for a form of slavery. You have to be up at five in the morning to milk the cows; you work all day providing for the cows in the winter and doing a thousand and one other jobs, and at five at night you have to milk the cows again. You may say: Get somebody else to do that work; but as soon as you talk milk to a man he begins to look for the road. I have had men come to me who I knew were good milkers, and they would want $3.50 a day and a house built for them, and then they would say, "I do not know how to milk," and I knew they had been milking for years. Men who can milk and are willing to do the work are demanding all the milk is worth. You cannot trust a greenhorn to do your milking, and an experienced man can practically make his own terms.

Furthermore, dairying to-day is an expensive business. Municipal authorities and governments are constantly making the sanitary regulations more strict, which

means that you have to provide costly equipment to produce good milk. Then there is the expense of constant replacement of pure bred sires. You have frequent losses, and never know when another is going to occur. Last year a little disease, of a very common kind, in my herd meant a loss of $1,000 to me, and I could not recoup myself. I had to go through the form of milking these half-dry cows all summer and pay men to do it. I got a letter from home only the other day saying that a breeder of pure bred Jerseys had had sixteen 'high-priced animals slaughtered because of tuberculosis. He will get some compensation from the government, it is true, but not enough to begin to square himself. It will take him years to make up that loss. This is a business that is becoming harder and harder to carry on, because of the aversion of all classes of men to milking. You mention milk to them and they will not work for you. It simply means,-and I know the farmers in the House will bear me out,-that you have to do the work yourself. I heard of farmers on the prairie last fall who were nearly crazy over their crops with so much to do, and who would try and persuade one of the hired men to milk, but they would all try and get out from under it. one after the other. Young men do not want to milk cows and the old men are worn out at the job. What is going tc happen when the old men die? They who have camped on this job and done the work no matter how long it took or how much they got for it? What is going to happen when these men drop out, and the modern man starts operations and is up against the modern idea of six or seven hours a day, and time and a half for overtime, and has to provide for depreciation, overhead charges and interests on his investment? That is where we are headed, and you will be sorry, Mr. Speaker, when that day comes, that you did not eat more butter when it was cheap.

The hon. member for North Waterloc (Mr. Euler) has said some rather peculiar things in his speech this afternoon. He seemed to think that imitation was all right, but I would suggest that imitation is a rather dangerous thing, and I will give an example. Toadstools and mushrooms, for instance, are very much alike, but if you eat a toadstool for a mushroom, the results are very disastrous.

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LIB

William Daum Euler

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

Would you say a toadstool is an imitation of a mushroom, or a mushroom an imitation of a toadstool?

Oleomargarine

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LIB

Elgin Albert Munro

Liberal

Mr. MUNRO:

The points of similarity are so great that either might be an imitation of the other. The hon. member also spoke of paper stockings. I submit this as a farmer. We do not ask for paper stockings, but what happened last fall, when we were paying two prices for stockings not much better than paper? The farmers had wool hanging on the poles in their barns, and they could get hardly anything for it. I submit, when you talk about paper [DOT] stockings, that the manufacturer who gets 30 per cent protection should be content to furnish socks at decent prices or have that tariif reduced.

At six o'clock the House took recess.

After Recess

The House resumed at eight o'clock.

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CON

Leon Johnson Ladner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. L. J. LADNER (Vancouver South) :

Mr. Speaker, we have heard presented the strong features of each side of this case with respect to the importation into, and manufacture in Canada of oleomargarine. Many arguments have been adduced, based upon the interest of some particular section of people. The views of the National Council of Dairymen have been presented on the one hand, and the views of the organization in support of oleomargarine have been urged on the other. But I submit that we must find some guiding principle that should actuate the Government in this matter, we must consider principles of public policy rather than the demands of political expediency. Some hon. members may be influenced through opinions in their constituencies; it may be the influence of the Dairymen's Association in one particular section, it may be the influence of the manufacturer of oleomargarine in another locality. Therefore the views of these hon. members are coloured by what they see behind them or what they anticipate in front of them.

I suggest that the only proper way to determine a question of this nature is to consider, in the first place, what the functions of government are in relation to it. In my own opinion there are two functions the government should bear in mind. First, they should make sure that oleomargarine is a pure food; that it is not a food which contains chemicals or ingredients that are injurious to health. The second, is that the government should make sure that the people will not be deceived, that when they buy this particular article they will know exactly what they

are buying. To venture beyond this, Mr. Speaker, is to undertake an exaggerated form of paternal legislation.

It might be asked if a government can tell the people that they can or cannot use oleomargarine-perhaps I am repeating the argument of some hon. members but it will bear repeating-why can they not also enact laws that people shall eat three meals a day, or that they shall drink milk instead of water, tea or coffee? It may be asked why cannot paternal legislation cause the adoption of such regulations as will require the farmers to feed their cows on clover, or their horses on clover and timothy and hay instead of on timothy and hay and sometimes straw? Further, it may be asked, why cannot it be provided that people shall eat No. 1 fresh butter instead of imported butter from other countries, or that they shall eat ordinary butter instead of the oleomargarine which is the subject of the present discussion? I submit that what should guide us in coming to a conclusion in this matter should be the national consideration of what is best in the general interest and welfare of the people; and that the functions of a government, as I said before, should be directed to inquiring whether this particular food is pure and whether the people are being deceived in any particular with respect to it. When hon. members allow considerations beyond these to determine their attitude, I submit they are not founding their decisions upon the right premises.

I would like to direct the attention of the House to some of the considerations in support of the importation of oleomargarine into Canada and its manufacture here. In a circular issued by the Retail Merchants Association of Canada, a very large organization, they tell us:

Having a trained knowledge of our 1)0810688, we stand ready at all times to express our opinion, when requested, as to the quality of the goods selected, and in the case of foodstuffs to advise as to their healthfulness, etc.

Then the circular proceeds:

The members of our Grocers' Section who sell oleomargarine, before recommending it, made exhaustive enquiries as to' its manufacture and the ingredients contained in it. The Chief Analyst for the Dominion Government was consulted and pronounced it a perfectly good food, and he stated that it contained no harmful ingredients. On each package is stamped the approval of the Department of Agriculture of the Dominion of Canada, and our retail grocers and general store merchants thoughout Canada, therefore, feel perfectly justified in stocking it and offering it for sale. If our customers did not want it there would be no sale for it, but our experience shows that

Oleomargarine

they want it, and, in our opinion, seeing that it is a non-injurious and palatable product, and that it contains nothing that is unhealthful, they should be allowed to buy it if they so desire and no law should be passed to prevent them from having it.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I submit that is the real point of this discussion: if the people want to buy oleomargarine why should they not be allowed to do so? The only reason why it is proposed they should be denied the privilege of buying it, is because one section of the community believes it will be prejudicial to its best interests. The strongest argument that I have heard in support of the resolution came from the hon. member who said, " I *base my contention entirely upon the question of protection." But this is not a question of protection. The resolution proposes to prohibit entirely the importation into, and the manufacture of the product in, this country; and so even the argument of protection has no foundation in fact so far as the merits of this case are concerned.

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LIB

Lewis Herbert Martell

Liberal

Mr. MARTELL:

Does not my hon.

friend think that the dairy industry has as much right to ask for the protection of the importation or manufacture of oleomargarine, as the shoe manufacturers have to ask for a tariff in order to keep shoes from the United States and other countries out of Canada?

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CON

Leon Johnson Ladner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LADNER:

The hon. member apparently misses the exceedingly important point involved: he does not distinguish between prohibition and protection. If this resolution asked for the imposition of a tariff on oleomargarine I would say it would come within the consideration of reason; but when it declares that, although oleomargarine as a food is good, people shall not use it, I cannot understand how the parliament of any free country could seek to impose its will to that extent upon the public.

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LIB
CON

Leon Johnson Ladner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LADNER:

The hon. member is getting into a very wide field when he considers the question of any protection on anything. I believe before Parliament prorogues, that question will be pretty fully discussed and all kinds of arguments will be advanced. That, however, has no reference at all to the point to which I wish to direct the attention of the House. In my opinion, the question is a very simple one. As I was saying, an organization that is sup-

porting, and that desires the right to purchase, oleomargarine in the stores is the Great War Veterans' Association in different parts of Canada. This is a resolution passed by the Toronto branch:

Be it resolved that the Great War Veterans* Association, Toronto district and York county command, urge the Dominion government promptly to take steps to assure the continued manufacture and sale of oleomargarine so that housewives may be enabled to continue freely to purchase oleomargarine for their families if they so desire.

The National Council of Women also wish to be permitted to continue to exercise that right, and I am informed that a great number of organizations in different parts of the country desire to have that right. I should like hon. members, who are opposing the merits of the contention submitted on our side, to direct some attention to the point whether it is within the functions of a government to pass such paternal legislation as will prohibit people from buying in any store a product of this or any other kind which is pure and which people want. That is the whole point of this discussion, namely how far is Parliament going and to what extent is it entitled to pass legislation of that kind?

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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART (Leeds) :

The hon. member speaks about prohibition and protection. Was not his object, when he advocated the prohibition of Asiatic immigration, the protection of Canadian labour?

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CON

Leon Johnson Ladner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LADNER:

I cannot conceive that it would be easy to impose a tariff in the sense of the human equation on Asiatics coming into this country. That is largely a social problem, whereas this question is largely an economic one.

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May 15, 1922